France will not lift ban on shale gas fracking, minister says

05 June 2013 16:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--France will not change its law on banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in shale gas production, the country’s ecology minister said on Wednesday.

Delphine Batho said that the fracking technology used in the exploration and production of shale gas remained environmentally risky.

The low US natural gas prices did not include the environmental damage caused by the use of fracking in US shale gas production, which future generations would have to pay for, Batho said in a webcast media debate with Laurence Parisot, president of France’s employers trade group Medef.

For its part, France’s government under president Francois Hollande is focusing on green and renewable energies, rather than shale gas, she said.

Batho added that the US shale gas boom was a challenge for that country's renewables sector, which saw a decline in new investments.

Parisot argued that France's shale gas reserves presented an opportunity to revive economic growth and create jobs.

At the same time, profits and taxes from shale gas could be used to help fund the development of renewable energies, she said.

France's ban on fracking was passed in 2011 under former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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